Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

Genre – Comic Book, Sci-Fi/Action

Director – Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles)

Cast – Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Jeremy Howard, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, and Whoopi Goldberg

Alluring element – Um, it’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

Scorecard:
Plot – 6
Acting – 7
Representation of Genre – 7
Cinematography – 8
Effects/Environment –8
Captivity – 8
Logical consistency – 6
Originality/Creativity – 7 
Soundtrack/Music – 7
Overall awesomeness – 7 
 
 
 hush_rating_71

I need to put a few things out there before I begin my review. My second word was “Leonardo.” I had a yellow jumpsuit and a Polaroid camera that I wore almost everyday when I was 3 to the time I was 5. When I was 3, I got my hair cut like April O’Neil (specifically The Animated Series version). I wore out my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 VHS. Twice. I often wished I could find a lantern at a garage sale that would transport me back in time and, that I too, could meet a little boy named Yoshi. And at some point, all four Turtles have been my favorite Turtle. Why am I telling you this? I am in no means trying to be a braggart, but I am letting you know one thing: I am very biased when it comes to my beloved Ninja Turtles.

tmntimage028

The Good

Why not start with the good parts of the movie? What you may read or have read on Rotten Tomatoes or MetaCritic may mar every aspect of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, but I am here to tell you, there are some good parts. In fact, I wouldn’t say the film was necessarily bad, as you can judge from the grade I gave it, but it wasn’t great either.

The mesmerizing parts of Ninja Turtles were the fight scenes. Let’s face it, when we see a film with Michael Bay’s name attached to it, we don’t exactly go for the plot. However, the action sequences are awesome. They are fast-paced, and all the martial arts tricks are gripping to watch. There were many scenes where the Turtles are bounding around and I thought it was beautiful. In one particular scene, they jump from a building and a full moon is in the upshot of the camera angle. It seemed very much like a scene out of the comics. Added to the visuals, the look of each Turtle wasn’t bad. Many fans seemed angry about their look, saying they looked scary. Their facial features were different from each other and they were huge. Notably, Mikey was smaller than his brothers, which seemed like a good touch. All animals have different features from each other, and so do the Turtles. I really liked the animation of the Turtles, personally. I also liked all their accessories, from Michelangelo’s sea-shell necklace, to Donnie’s science gear, to Raph’s full head bandana, to Leonardo’s NYC pin. I also liked the Pimp My Ride style Party Wagon. The best part of all of the animation was the beginning credits. The motion-comic style animation, based off the original artwork of the comics, with the splashes of color was really captivating. I truly feel that if someone wanted to pick that up, it could be a highly lucrative straight-to-DVD venture for Nickelodeon, similar to what DC Comics does.

Michaelangelo
Mikey and his distinct Turtle look.

In case you were wondering, the story is changed. I won’t give you spoilers, but there was one story that I was not disappointed with, and that was April O’Neil’s. Given the other changes in the story, I felt that April’s made the most sense for why she feels such a connection with the Turtles. Because this is a Ninja Turtles origin story, you have to expect there is a Subway scene. Personally, I thought this scene was one of the best of the film. There was enough of a change that I didn’t feel like I was watching the same thing I’ve seen before, but it was still reminiscent of the original story.

April O'Neil
Megan Fox as April O’Neil.

There were plenty of funny scenes, most of which involved either Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett), who is April’s cameraman, or Donatello. Both characters had plenty of good lines and were a-dork-able. Enough so I that I walked away feeling like this was the first film that gave Donatello more play than normal, but I would like to have seen more. Even so, Raphael was able to sneak in one piece of comedy in a heartfelt speech, which is one of the most memorable moments. Other moments that made me think, “Hey, that’s cool!” were seeing Donnie’s computer lab which was quite impressive, an intense scene where Leonardo improvises by using his Katanas as ski poles, and once we are in the Turtles lair, a sign can be seen in the background that reads “POWER.” However, the best scene in the film is when all four Turtles are in an elevator awaiting epic battle and they start a hip-hop beat. I was smiling the entire time this scene went on because I felt like those were my Turtles and they would so obviously break out a beat before fighting a foe.

Donnies Lab
Donnie’s impressive computer lab.

The Bad

I’ll be honest; there are a lot of things I could nit-pick at because the logical consistencies of many aspects are…illogical. For instance, in a moment of being airborne through the city, because that always happens, April O’Neil (Megan Fox) catches herself with one arm on a steel beam. One arm! I am a female, and I can attest that the average female CANNOT do that. While I’m on the topic, I want to say that Megan Fox doesn’t do a horrible job in the role, but she still is no April. Another inconsistency was that Splinter learned the art of Ninjutsu from a book he found in the sewer. I only wish I could pick up things I read about so quickly. He then passed on the knowledge to his sons. The Foot Clan were not overly scary except for their quick draw on some machine guns. But they didn’t really use their resources to their advantage of being thugs. Also, Karai, their leader, wasn’t well explored. Her role in other TMNT franchises is more significant.

tmntimage030
Master Splinter teaches his young sons Ninjutsu.

My list of annoyingly bad things includes voices. Namely, Megan Fox’s shrill scream that made me jump in my seat, and Tony Shalhoub’s voice does not translate to a Japanese Sensei sewer rat. The over advertising of Pizza Hut was also annoying, but expected in a movie that Michael Bay produced. Shredder was annoying because he looked ridiculous. I’m going to give you an assignment. Go to your utility drawer, pull out your Swiss Knife, pull out all the pieces of it, and slash wildly at the air. Did you feel badass, or just goofy? That’s what I thought. Mikey’s character was more of a characterization of himself; he was over done as the “stoner”. I love Mikey, I really do. And I did thoroughly enjoy him in this incarnation, but it would have been nice if he did as much martial arts as he did talking. And as much as I love Raphael, there was a great deal of him, and not enough of why he is so angry or why he isn’t the leader. We have seen the story of Raph saving his brothers; this film attempted to re-tell the story, and it failed.

Look at my hands!
Look at my hands!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ writers didn’t take into account the intelligence of the public, either. Sure, the average American may not be very sharp (other people’s quotes, not mine), but we don’t need to be force-fed either. There was so much about this film that was told and not shown: Splinter’s relationship with the Turtles, the Turtles rivalry with the Shredder, the Foot Clan being bad, Eric Sacks being a bad guy, and the list goes on. Even a child who loved this film, could look back in 20 years and say, “Nope, I got this all the first time” because even children can understand intangible things if they are portrayed properly. That intangible “thing” was the idea of family. It was a concept referred to several times in the movie, but I never really felt that Splinter and the Turtles were ALL a family. There really was no connection to Splinter, which felt odd and wrong.

Leo looks on wondering why the movie didn't make more of the family.
Leo looks on wondering why the movie didn’t make more of the family.

The worst part of “The Bad” is the overall grand plan by the main villain, Eric Sacks. Yeah the Shredder has those hands, but he wasn’t really the nemesis, which I’m not sure was on purpose. Anyhow, (SPOILERS AHEAD!) Eric Sacks is an evil scientist who plans to take out New York City and then cure it with the same mutagen that made the turtles into Turtles and make lots-o-money. But for so many reasons this is a bad plan! Why is money a bad plan? Oh, because if he takes out all of NYC, won’t he, the Shredder, and the Foot Clan all be dead, too? Also, the dude is already loaded. He has a frickin’ gated mansion. His grand plan is all because he doesn’t have enough money? He doesn’t want, say the other thing all evil genius’ want, power? Nope. Just more money. I find major fault that this was never questioned by anyone.

Donatello
Donnie is screaming because Eric Sacks was a terrible villain.

The Ugly

Beyond all my complaints listed above, there is the ugly. There were parts of this movie that made me cringe. Shredder’s backstory and relationship to the Turtles was not explained AT ALL. Like not even a little bit. There is no reason for them to despise each other. None. Oh, and for the first 15 minutes of the movie, there are no Turtles. Nowhere in sight. Now I know they are ninjas, but it wasn’t because they are sneaky, it’s because the writers didn’t do a good job at writing. I did not intend to go see a movie about April O’Neil, and God knows I love her. Except that Megan Fox isn’t a good actress. She’s just not. This movie should have been entitled April O’Neil and her Pets. If you had known the entire story revolved around her, would you have gone? Well, I still might have, but at least I wouldn’t have felt lied to. But my biggest gripe is that there was not a story for Leonardo. Leonardo. LEONARDO! He is the leader of the group! He should have led! And I’m not mad at him, because he is just an innocent Turtle, I am mad at the writers. It came off as if Raph was the leader, but that is not the case. How could they cut someone’s story so much? They cut Splinter’s story, they cut Shredder’s story, but to cut one of the actual Ninja Turtles’ stories makes me want to raise my hands and say “Damn. Damn! DAMN!”

It's ok Raph, we sympathize with your anger.
It’s ok Raph, we sympathize with your anger.

I have tried to be careful of comparing the 2014 film to the 1990 film because I know I am biased. I could write a book on why the 1990 film is better. I will spare you from that (for now), but I feel there was so much that could have been done to improve the current film. When I went to the theater (and I went in the early evening), there were not many children there. You know who was? 20 somethings wearing shell backpacks and those felt bandanas. Millenials. Truthfully, the production company had to have known that it was my age group who would be spending their money on this movie. It would have been nice if they had respected us. Now I’m not saying that they had to re-create the 1990 film, but some nice nods to it would have been great. Maybe Danny Pennington is New York City’s police chief. Maybe Judith Hoag and Elias Koteas are seen arguing in the background. Maybe the baby Turtles say “Pizza! Pizza!” Maybe we see Raphael in a fit of anger toss aside an old Vanilla Ice CD he finds.

I must say that it was very tough for me to write this review because Ninja Turtles holds a large place in my heart.  I found a lot of faults with the film, but I admit that I will watch it again.  I admit that I have bought a lot of the action figures for the movie.  And I admit that despite all its faults, it still made me smile, even if the movie wasn’t full of T-U-R-T-L-E Power.  Until next time, Cowabunga, dudes!

all media belongs to Nickelodeon

What are your thoughts on the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie? Let me know in the comments!

All photos belong to Nickelodeon

Monthly Movie Preview: August 2014

July has come and gone in the blink of an eye. August promises to close out the summer in style, with a few notable blockbusters and some good independent films sprinkled in. Check out what we have to say about August’s films:

August 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro

I’m hooked on a feeling… that this might be the greatest Marvel movie ever made. Although the Guardians have been around in comic books for decades, and the team being used for the film having existed since 2008, the number of people who can name any of the individual team members is far surpassed by the volume of fans who have no idea what is going on – and that will work to the film’s benefit. Nobody has any expectations of this rag-tag group, whose diversity is its strongest card. A talented set of actors, endless humor and explosive action will round out the intergalactic adventure that, at worst is a thrilling movie to see with the family, and at best could be this generation’s Star Wars. One thing is certain – we will be at the theaters on Friday to find out. – Sherif

August 1 – Get on Up

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis (True Blood), Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer

HEEEYYY!!! Now one more time, say that with your best James Brown impression. Couldn’t do it? That’s okay, because Chadwick Boseman sure can when he plays James Brown in the upcoming biopic titled Get on Up. If you are a fan of James Brown, soul, funk, music, and history, this movie is for you. Be prepared to get on up and enjoy this movie directed by Tate Taylor (The Help). However, get on up silently because, well, you are still in a movie theater. I honestly believe this movie is going to be great and it’ll make you feel so many emotions including excitement, happiness, sadness, and sorrow. Despite this movie being about the music of the godfather of soul, it is also about his family and his life, which has not been struggle-free. Basically, I think this movie is going to be fantastic; however, if James Brown and his music is not your thing, it is possibly the drama and the history will be enough to hold your interest. So one more time, get on up, and give it your best HEEEYYY!!! – Evan

 

August 5 – Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods

Starring: Original voice cast

I’ve been trying to get into DBZ since I recently signed up for Crunchyroll, but there are just so many other great animes out that I haven’t gotten a chance to get to really dive into the series. What really has me interested is the fact that a year after its release, Funimation has taken it upon themselves to get the American theatrical release rights and is showing this in select theaters for a few nights. Something happened with a Tekken animated movie a few years back and it was definitely worth the trip. I don’t personally care about this movie and I figure that any major fan would have already seen the dubbed version, and while I don’t really care for some of the business practices of Funimation, this gives me hope for the future. Anything that gets a big enough following could be a potential candidate for the big screen. There are plenty of animes I would pay to see so if this is your type of thing, make sure to get out there and support it as it will give companies a reason to continue doing this in the future. – Robert

 

August 8 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Starring: Johnny Knoxville (voice only), Tony Shalhoub (voice only), Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg

August is here, and whether or not fans burn down the House that Bay built depends on this film. Long-time fans are either reserved or outraged, whether it be the way the Turtles look, the fact that Megan Fox is playing April O’Neil, or if it’s just based off the fact that Michael Bay is the director. All of these points are quite valid, but I can’t help but want to take a chance on this new take on the Heroes in a Half-Shell. We all have our own impression on what we consider the Turtles to be, and I think that any major motion picture attention to the franchise is a win in my books. There’s simply no way this TMNT incarnation will be as amazing as the originals, or even the new Nickelodeon television series, but as long as Bay can capture the magic of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that made it such an instant classic 30 years ago, it may continue to be at the forefront of pop culture for all ages. – Sherif

August 8 – What If

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver

Originally titled The F Word for its initial 2013 debut, What If is the tale of Harry Potter trying to avoid being put in the friend-zone with a decidedly hot blonde. It sounds like a cliché concept, but What If has already garnered a lot of critical acclaim, earning Best Adapted Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards. Daniel Radcliffe is finally believable as an adult actor, and his best friend in the movie is played by Adam Driver – who is the one sole reason that HBO’s Girls is a watchable show for me. This movie won’t break any new ground, but for any guys looking to get over the Friend Zone hump, this would be the movie to take her to (unless she likes TMNT, in which case you should just marry her). – Sherif

August 8 – Step Up: All In

Starring: Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam Sevani, Stephen Boss, and Cyrus Spencer

Confession time:  I have seen every single episode of So You Think You Can Dance.  Every. Single. One.  I haven’t seen any of the Step Up movies, but I am always happy for the contestants of SYTYCD when they make it to gigs beyond the show.  For Stephen Boss aka tWitch and Cyrus Spencer aka Glitch, this is exactly the case.  And really, is anyone going to see these movies for the plot?  No, its a dance movie.  But the dancing should be worth seeing this film, even if it is just for the SYTYCD alum.  – Adrian

August 15 – Frank

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson (AKA Bill Weasley), Scoot McNairy

I have absolutely no idea what to make of this movie. It looks like Deadmau5 has a crack-head brother or something and we are getting to watch the story of his tomfoolery. The story of a guy who wears a fake head and never ever takes it off seems like it could be humorous but I don’t know if this is my kind of comedy. After watching the trailer my interest is definitely piqued but there are too many other things I would rather see so I would say that I will wait to rent this at Redbox or something, but truth be told I will probably forget about this movie once I’m done writing this. – Robert

 

August 15 – Life After Beth

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Anna Kendrick, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon

As much as I love these actors and zombies, I am rather sick of people being in love with monsters. Although the idea may be over done in this we see upcoming actor Dane DeHaan (Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Zach, a young man who we see struggling emotionally due to the loss of his girlfriend. This quickly changes as Zach sees Beth (Aubrey Plaza), his lost girlfriend and finds she has been resurrected somehow, and although she initially shows no signs they start to figure out she is a zombie and needs to eat human flesh. This will almost guaranteed bring laughs if for nothing else due to the cast, but ultimately it will be lost among the other blockbusters this month. It is definitely not a family film and is marketed towards the teen and young adult community. Although the film itself may be easily forgotten due to other massive films this month don’t forget it as it will likely be a well liked film among certain groups. – Jacob

August 15 – The Expendables 3

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer(?), Terry Crews, Victor Ortiz, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Initially sold as a man-gasm inducing thrill-fest, this franchise is two strokes away from permanently shooting blanks. I love action flicks as much as the next guy, and I genuinely thought the franchise was a good idea, but is there something really so wrong with just letting the legends ride off into the sunset without having to sit through multiple hours of screaming, slow-motion firefights and catchphrases that barely worked twenty years ago? Let’s be honest; nobody is watching this film for the acting, or the storyline. Twenty & thirty-something men get to see some of their action star idols duke it out as one last hurrah. The third installment gives us Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson (the new bad guy), Harrison Ford, a post-prison Wesley Snipes and Kelsey Grammer. If the fate of the world is in Frasier Crane’s hands, we’re all screwed. There’s no way I’m influencing you’re decision to see The Expendables 3, as you’ve likely already made your decision before reading this. – Sherif

August 15 – The Giver

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Odeya Rush, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift

I won’t lie.  When I see the trailer for The Giver, I get chills.  Based off the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, the movie will be a look into one boy’s world… a utopia that isn’t actually that perfect.  It feels odd to be writing a preview on this for two reasons.  One being that practically every millennial and younger have read the book in school.  The other being that if I say much more for those who don’t know the plot, there is a lot to give a way.  In short, go see this movie.  You will not be disappointed.  -Adrian

August 22 – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Starring: Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Bruce Willis

Is it 2005 again, or did Robert Rodriguez just find a way to make Jessica Alba hot again?? It’s been nearly a decade, but Frank Miller’s Sin City is coming back to the silver screen in its second installment, A Dame to Kill For. Just like last time, the star-studded cast will take turns adding their pieces to the puzzle. Sin City vets like Alba, Bruce Willis and Josh Brolin are back, but several big name newcomers will also be sharing the spotlight, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Viewers should expect multiple plot twists, both in a sequel and prequel aspect to the original. Miller and Rodriguez’s visual style also looks to be prevalent throughout the film. This is going to be a fun movie any way you look at it. If you can’t wait for the movie to come out, you can also read the graphic novel of the same name, as it was released over 20 years ago. – Sherif

August 22 – To Be Takei

Starring: George Takei

Oh my! To Be Takei is a documentary depicting the life of brilliant and ever-exuberant George Takei. It tells his story from his childhood in a Japanese internment camp to his ground breaking role on Star Trek to his coming out story and marriage. This promises to be an incredibly inspiring film, especially for anyone who has felt trapped by society just for being who they are. George cleverly reminds us in the tagline that “It’s Okay to Be Takei!” As a Trekkie and proud member of the LGBT community, I’m extremely excited to see this movie hit the big screen, On Demand, and iTunes on August 22nd.  – Charlotte

 

August 22 – Are You Here

Starring: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler

This movie looks like it could be a more light-hearted sequel to Due Date. The movie stars Zach Galifinakis as yet another crazy person with a myriad of issues, only this time he inherits a small fortune and everybody seems to be out to get it from him. It actually looks pretty funny but looks like it might have more of those light-hearted friendship moments than I would prefer from a movie with him in it. His usual style of comedy hasn’t yet grown old to me so this definitely looks like something worth checking out. – Robert

August 22 – If I Stay

Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jaimie Blackley, Liana Liberato, Mireille Enos, and Joshua Leonard

Honestly, I have never read If I Stay.  However, it doesn’t look half bad.  The story follows a teenage celloist named Mia who has a pretty good life going on until her family gets in a fatal car wreck.  Mia experiences an out of body experience while in a coma and must decide whether to go back to living or go… elsewhere.  I don’t know whether this will appeal to the masses, but anything that gets teenagers to read seems pretty decent to me. – Adrian

August 29 – Life of Crime

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Yasiin Bey

Life of Crime reminds me of the type of comedy that my parents would have watched when I was a kid, and one that I wouldn’t have understood for the life of me. I have a feeling this could be the same way. Tim Robbins plays a rich man whose beautiful wife (Aniston) is kidnapped. When the kidnappers attempt to collect the ransom, Robbins refuses to pay. If it sounds like an idea that’s been done before, that’s because it has. The 1986 movie Ruthless People had pretty much the same premise, and Life of Crime is credited as being based off the book The Switch. I’d be lying if I said that Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def and Tim Robbins didn’t sell me on seeing the movie, but otherwise, Life of Crime doesn’t bring nearly enough to the table to make me want to sit through it. – Sherif

Comic Book Reviews 07-23-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

tmnt tit2 cool july 23

TMNT: Turtles in Time #2 A

The second issue in this mini series is definitely much better as far as story goes, and the artwork in this issue is great as well. We see the Turtles travel forward in time from their last destination but it is still the past to them. This time they are in Japan and almost immediately after they get there and get clothes they help out a familiar man as he is getting attacked. We still don’t know much about Renet who is the cause of the time travel until later in this series or we may have to wait for the TMNT Annual coming out later this year where she is said to be introduced as a official character for the series.- Jacob

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Batman #33A

The end of Zero Year is finally here. The showdown with Edward Nygma comes to a close, and one of the best Batman stories of all time is over. The finale is every bit the culmination it was supposed to be, as Batman and Nygma engage in mental warfare, the fate of the city in Batman’s hands. The arrogance of Nygma is perfectly in sync with The Riddler mythos and it makes him a character that you love to hate. The main story is great, highlighted by some great panels that will define the arc, but the real prize are the subtle callbacks to minor Batman details. These range from past Zero Year issues to new aspects of Batman’s past, to the appearance of a newly-designed (and sexy) love interest of Batman’s past. When the debris clears, there’s no denying that Zero Year‘s decision to tackle uncharted territory pays off in a big way. – Sherif

Batman and Robin #33A-

Although Robin Rises didn’t give us the result I wanted, it led to a much more epic journey. The “new” Robin is going to be Damian, and if the picture I’ve seen floating around the internet are any indication, Damian will be returning, but as a reanimated corpse. The issue even pokes fun at the ridiculousness of what is soon to come. As Batman fights the League when they try to stop him from going to Apokolips to recapture Robin’s body. To do so, writer Peter Tomasi reveals the Hellbat armor, which already deserve a spot on our Top Batsuits list. With the League not allowing him to go, what do you think he’s going to do? Whatever the hell he wants. I’m all in on this epic tale. – Sherif

Superman #33B-

Batman has been hogging up much of the New52 spotlight, so it’s about due time that some of the biggest names in comic books saved the book. Writer Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. have instant chemistry, and this new hero (?) is an instantly appealing character, and the mystery surrounding him drives the story without dragging on at all. The major issue I have with the tory so far is that there is a LOT of dialogue. The first few pages are almost half-way filled with words, which was hard to get through when there was no momentum to warrant such long story-telling. The use of the medium succeeds with good art and word chemistry, not pages of talking heads. It doesn’t last forever though; once the book progresses to show our new guest, we get an enthralling story that I look forward to reading again. – Sherif

Wonder Woman #33– C+

By now, word of Wonder Woman‘s new creative team has swept the internet. After this one, we only get two more issues of the amazing Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang before the reins are handed off to the Finchs. Until then, we get to live out the rest of this bittersweet journey knowing that it will be over soon. First born has captured Wonder Woman and has begun his assault on Themyscira. We have all the tellings of a good war tale, but this issue plays out kind of like a bad The Walking Dead issue, with not much development throughout the issue, and one cliff-hanger at the end. In the grand scheme of the finale, this was just collateral damage – the issue isn’t unenjoyable. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

X-Files #14 B+

This issue reminds me so much of classic X-Files, I felt like I was watching the show. Again, with a lot of these TV to comic adaptations, I get a bit frustrated that I am reading a comic instead of watching these stories.  However, this was a good moment for this series as it really connected to me as a fan with the writing and the art. Seeing Skinner, Krychek, Mulder, Scully, and the Cigarette Smoking Man all active and all involved in some huge conspiracy was amazing.  I am sure it will all tie into a lot of the big events from the TV series.  They have made references to a ton of cases and things that may come into play at some point. Although a lot has happened up to this point in the series, you should definitely try and pick this up if you are just getting started in the series or if you were a big fan of the show.-Jacob

Super Secret Crisis War Johnny Bravo One-Shot B

This event at IDW has the child inside me having a brain aneurism because of over-excitement. This issue focuses on one of the robots from the previous Super Secret Crisis War #1 who invades Aron City, the home of Johnny Bravo, who is the famous Elvis looking and sounding, Zapp Branigann type of guy from his own cartoon. Johnny’s mom is missing and other various characters from the show, but ultimately it was a good story for the character development of Mr. Bravo and shows why he was not chosen as one of the main heroes kidnapped by Aku. If you have ever watched the Cartoon Network classics this is a must have, but since it is just a one shot, I am sure not getting it won’t effect you understanding of the main story. -Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #21 B

As much as I enjoy this book, it’s actually painful to watch Marko and Alana continue to drive a wedge between themselves. Alana is busy at work, but has taken on way more than a bigger role – she is on her way to becoming a drug addict. Meanwhile, Marko is rubbing elbows with a fellow stay-at-home parent and they seem to be getting uncomfortably close. There’s also the signature sex scene, which promptly follows the signature murder scene. I love the crazy robot janitor. His character is causing going to put a huge hole in everybody’s plan, and with no motive or backstory to understand what he is doing, he is even more frightening to watch. Saga remains my favorite book from Image, so to say that this issue didn’t strike me as amazing is still saying it’s one of the best books out. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Deadpool Vs. X-Force #2 B+

This monthly series of Deadpool is kicking the pants off of the Dracula’s Gauntlet weekly series and the main series at the moment! This issue has some pretty good writing and it is wonderful seeing Cable and Deadpool get to know each other during Civil War times. This series has definitely been enjoyable and has been a good break in the overdone and often story lacking series Deadpool has been involved in this year. – Jacob

Storm #1 – B-
 
This week, Marvel debuted its latest solo X-Men character, with Storm.  To give you some background on my love affair with Ororo, when I was a child and all the other little girls were putting toilet paper on their heads to make a veil for Kindergarten weddings, I was using toilet paper to create tornadoes, and then I would control them while I was in the sky, a.k.a. the top of the stairs, and scream “I am STORM!”.  With that being said,  I was a little disappointed in this issue.  The story gave some background into Storm, her capabilities, and where she is now.  However, there was no background for the island she saves or the young defiant mutant who Storm takes back home to Mexico.  I never felt connected with any character, including Storm or Beast.  My predetermined bias forced me to give a high score on this book, but I won’t knock it until there has been more content. – Adrian

 Original Sins #4 – C+

This miniseries and by connection the main series of Original Sin are about to come to a close. In this second to last issue of Original Sins we get to see stories about Doctor Doom, a overweight man playing Captain America in a parade ad of course the Young Avengers Story that has come with each issue. This series has been odd and I tend to be most excited for the stories that last two pages, which is usually something like Howard the Duck (whom I love). It was nice to at least kind of see what Doctor Doom is up to during Original Sin, but ultimately his story was about just some random loser who saw Doctor Dooms secrets. Overall this is definitely not a must have comic even for an Original Sin story line. -Jacob

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #3 C-

We see the final battle between Blade and Deadpool and more story behind how Deadpool and Shiklah fell in love and got married. But although some of that may sound entertaining the way they dispatch of Blade is a very “No duh!” moment and the rest of the story just seems like it is a very unneeded prequel to Deadpool’s wedding and, of course, extra stuff to add to the whole Deadpool Gauntlet story.  I will continue to read this series as I always find Deadpool entertaining, but maybe the constant barrage of stories for him has made him a predictable and boring character when not written in the right way. -Jacob

 

Funniest Panel:

ww 33 funny july 23

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

zero year punch

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Comic Book Reviews 07-16-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

magneto

Magneto  #7 – A-

This is the type of book that needs some theme music. Something… metal. Okay, bad joke. Seriously though, Magneto is one of the most hardcore action books out right now. Each issue plays out like a miniature Steven Segal movie, and it fills a void in the comic book industry. This issue, Magneto has found himself going undercover in Hong Kong, where mutants are disappearing every day. It turns out the Chinese are holding underground gladiatorial matches between mutants they find on the street and savage Predator X beasts. The issue ends somewhat predictably, but like your seventh time on a fun roller coaster, it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. – Sherif

The thing that makes this series so awesome is watching Magneto go crazy while taking out threats to mutant kind. My only complaint is that he is still perceived as a little weak due to events before the series started. I don’t mind it but it seems like we are constantly reminded every issue when something goes wrong. If you don’t know by now why he is weak then it isn’t really relevant anymore anyways. I love this series but I hope that it starts to have diversity because while I enjoy watching him on a rampage, I would like to see a little more story development. – Robert

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Robin Rises: Omega  #1 – B+

It’s only when you read the preface of this issue that you realize just how epic of a journey Grant Morrison has taken the character of Batman on. The first few pages of this issue are a summary of nearly the past decade of Morrison’s run. As I read it, I honestly forgot there was a story to get back to – it was that good. Flash forward to the front-lines, where Darkseid’s forces are trying to retrieve a special crystal in Damian’s sarcophagus. All out war breaks out, and there are some great one-liners in there before the party gets busted up. Without spoiling too much, we definitely find out what the plan for “The Next Robin” is, but the Robin debacle does not get solved here, and I expect it won’t for another few issues. This definitely validated Peter Tomasi’s writing skills. I can’t wait to see how this works out. – Sherif

This is the perfect way to catch up if you have been out of the loop for the last year or so. It gives a clear and concise history of the important plot points of all the Bat-family without having to go in to too much detail. It was nice for me as someone who has read all of it, to make sure that there wasn’t anything that I had forgotten or needed to know in addition to what ive read. This would be a perfect entry book for someone looking to get into the Batman line of books simply based on the intro issue. As for the new material, I knew Damian couldn’t stay dead forever as comics have a sort of revolving door policy when it comes to death, especially if a character is popular. I liked Damian and was irritated to see him die right when they finally made him likable, but such is life. Assuming there isn’t anything too fishy about his revival, I welcome it with open arms. – Robert

Batman Eternal #15 – C

I honestly don’t see the point of this series anymore. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere important and the fact that it is a weekly book doesn’t help if they aren’t moving things along. I would be pissed if this was a biweekly book having to wait such a long time for plot advancement, but it seems that even being weekly, nothing is happening anyways. This book seems a little overly ambitious and with every few issues, the plot thickens and everything we thought we knew gets turned upside down. I think this approach needs to be toned down a bit in order to reign in the story. I hope that the end game for this series ends up being interesting or at the very least changing some major things in the series, but only time will tell what the writers have in store for this book. – Robert

Teen Titans #1 – D+

The brand new Teen Titans is here. Yeah, that’s about all the excitement I can muster for this book. I really like the members of the team individually, but this debut was just a congested bunch of meh. The book jumps right into action, with the team trying to stop a group of terrorists from bombing a school bus full of children – can we get any more cliché? The characters behave more or less how they’re supposed to, but fail to really make any lasting impression. The art of Kenneth Rocafort pretty much carries what turns into quite a mundane story. Rocafort and colorist Dan Brown’s unique style fits very well with the concept, and the full-page spreads throughout are a great addition to the first issue. In the end, though, I just couldn’t get past the horribly cliché dialogue. Also, I’m curious what the target demographic is. A book aimed at teens with casual murder just isn’t doing it, and neither is an adult book with sexed up teenagers and cheesy dialog. This book needs to find an identity. Soon. – Sherif

Harley Quinn Invades Comic Con #1 – D-

What a bunch of crap. Do not waste your money on this book. There are like ten artists on this issue, none of which I have heard of and none of which can do Harley any justice at all. The art is reminiscent of a crappy MAD magazine; that’s not to say that MAD is crappy, but it’s not the type of art I’d like to see in a comic book, choppy and ugly. This book has failed to make any lasting impact, and their B.S. “Comic Con Special” is an even gaudier cash grab. There are some tidbits of humor in the story, like Harley’s geek out at a certain celebrity, and a few other inside fanboy jokes, but for the casual fan there is just chaos and bad art. Comic Con, yes. Harley Quinn, no. – Sherif

 

Dynamite Entertainment:

Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched  #1 – B+

In this new Army of Darkness series we see ash deciding to stay in medieval England with King Arthur and Henry the Red. Of course, by the title you can guess a wedding is planned but if things go the way they normally do in Ash’s world the wedding will likely change quite drastically and most likely quite violently. We don’t go anywhere really with the story here except meeting their main enemy most likely and then lots of dead things, which is obvious. The comics for Army of Darkness have always been a bit odd to me because most have had nothing to do with the characters in the film other than Ash so it is great to see it be set in the timeline and with all the characters from the film. This series is likely to be a very enjoyable one for fans and could definitely be a good intro into the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness world which of course would hopefully lead to the viewing of the films to whole heartedly understand the universe and how Ash got to be as bad ass as he is. – Jacob

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  #36 – B

This issue of Ninja Turtles is definitely one of the darker and creepier issues to date for this series. We get to see the Rat King for the first time and boy have the modern incarnations turned into something way more creepy than past ones. This has a much more psychological horror movie type of feel to it and although disturbing I really enjoyed it. Being able to bring more characters in and broaden to the world and the turtles themselves and boy does the Rat King seem like a great villain for the coming future. The art as always by Santolouco is great and I am finally getting used to his turtles, although Michelangelo still looks like a baby to me. But definitely pick this issue up if you want a very different type of Turtles and want to be introduced to a new and yet classic turtles villain. – Jacob

X-Files: Year Zero #1 – B-

This series definitely starts off interesting and makes me look forward to the rest of the series but ultimately it felt like a rather weak start. As with many of my reviews, the very fact I am reading about the subject at hand makes it much more positive because even if an X-Files story is bad, It is a very comforting feeling to have these characters still available at hand. The story so far is interesting giving a look at modern day Mulder and Scully and two past agents Bing Ellinson and Millie Ohio. A modern day case is connected to the first X-Files case ever and thanks to The Lone Gunmen, Mulder has much more information available to him about the case. It is a very good idea and as an X-Files fan, I enjoyed it, I would not recommend it to most people wanting to start off X-Files as it could be confusing with the two timelines but if you didn’t like either Mulder or Scully you may be interested in this giving you a look at the show without the main two leads… Oh man, I just realized that is what ended up ending the show. – Jacob

Marvel:

Uncanny X-Men #23 – B+

“The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier.” Interested yet? That was all I needed before I ripped open the cover of Uncanny X-Men #23. Surprisingly, there’s a lot more going on in this issue than the title suggests. Dazzler, reeling from her time as Mystique’s guinea pig, is spiraling out of control, taking her far from her glitzy personality and into a much darker place. Much of the issue resolves around the build-up of revealing to the X-Men that Professor X left something behind for the team. The only catch – they have to be in the same room as Scott Summers while they read the will of the man that he killed. Talk about awkward… Brian Michael Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men continues to be one o the most solid books out right now, and I have definitely taken the bait to find out what exactly Professor X left behind. – Sherif

Ms. Marvel  #6 – B-

Everything I love about Ms. Marvel is back in this book. A surprising result from the talk Kamala has with the Sheikh breathes some great cultural breath into the book that neither I nor Kamala expected; it’s almost invigorating. We jump right back into the story, with Ms. Marvel searching for The Inventor, who has kidnapped her friend’s brother. We finally get to meet the Inventor, who is not at all what I expected. The character is silly, and I instantly take the book less seriously because of it. However, the team-up with Wolverine more than made up for it. Kamala totally fangirled over him, making for some hilarious dialogue between the two. Ms. Marvel doesn’t back down, though; she manages to impress him multiple times. By now, I’m feeling that this is a fun book, and the cultural component adds a lot of value for me, personally, but Ms. Marvel isn’t living up to the potential I thought it would. – Sherif

Savage Hulk #2 – C+

I’m not too crazy about the art with this series but the story overall is pretty standard for a Hulk story. In fact, it seems like the stories from the beginning of the Hulk series many years ago. I feel like I could just read those old issues instead of making a throwback series that doesn’t really serve any purpose. I like where the other Hulk series is going, but this seems pretty unnecessary. – Robert

 

Funniest Panel

Ms. Marvel teams up with Wolverine in Ms. Marvel #7
Ms. Marvel teams up with Wolverine in Ms. Marvel #7

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

Batman brings out his skills when his son's body is involved in Robin Rises Omega #1
Batman brings out his skills when his son’s body is involved in Robin Rises Omega #1

 

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Comic Book Reviews 06-18-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking. A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like. C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books. D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked. F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #35- A

I am loving this story arc and where it is taking the turtles. I have had problems in the past with Santolouco’s art design for the turtles, but he is by far my favorite artist for humans in the series. But the more he does I feel the better he does as Slash in this issue looks amazing! I feel this series just keeps getting better and better to me and having a Slash centered issue was great and opened up so many opportunities for the series. – Jacob

This issue is going to open up so much! The mutagen is the key to everything. Does this mean a war with Krang and Hob’s army? Or will the turtles be able to stop the madness before it gets out of control? My money is on the former because I love Old Hob’s character; he’s like the Magneto of TMNT. I also really appreciate the development of Casey Jones, who is no longer the one-dimensional tough guy goof off  he has been in other mediums. There’s a reason this was my favorite book last year, and it continues to amaze. – Sherif

  

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #5 – B

Things are wrapping up for this Serenity series sadly. In this second to last issue we see the normally great art for this series and it is always good to see Wash, even if it has to be from the past. This is definitely the issue the climax of this series and we see everything set up for the last issue next month and does it well. It has been a great series and hopefully we will get more once everything finishes. – Jacob

DC/Vertigo:

Wonder Woman #32 – B+

If this cover isn’t the new poster for feminism, I don’t know what is – Wonder Woman fighting a manly bull warrior with two swords and a baby strapped to her back. The war for Olympus is waning, and there aren’t many left to oppose the First Born. Diana and a small team of gods try to make a last stand. We even get to see a new rendition of Wonder Woman’s armor, which looks gorgeous in modern colors. The story is dwindling down, but it’s not that it’s getting boring; I mean, how many arcs do you know that last over thirty issues? This series has just enough momentum for a ridiculous send-off – let’s just hope it gets there without being predictable. – Sherif

Supergirl #32 – B-

Luckily it seems as though we only have one more issue to deal with the Red Lantern version of Supergirl. She has been kicked outta the corp and on her way back to Earth she is attacked by another worldkiller. The scenes of her battling the Diasporians are pretty cool and really the only reason to check out this episode. I am glad this story arc is at its conclusion but with the events of Superman Doomed affecting her ability to live on planet Earth, I am afraid we are going to be stuck with more space adventures for the time being. I hope I am wrong but that seems like the direction they are going to take. – Robert Batman Eternal #11 – C I really don’t know where they are going with this book anymore but now they are rehashing characters from the original Batman Inc. comic. I am curious to see if they manage to add Julia to the Bat family or if she will move on at the end of this arc. This issue was beyond filler and I cant think of one thing that happened to move the story forward this issue. I am also not a fan of the way the art changed an issue or so ago. I has an amateur look about it that I can’t get over. – Robert

Batman and Ra’s al Ghul #32 – C

We’re just one issue away from the finale of this long series of guest features. It has brought Batman across the world to confront the Demon’s Head and take back the bodies of Talia and Damian, choosing to lay them to rest and keep Ra’s from resurrecting them to rule the world under his control – typical Ra’s. The issue was supposed to be a major milestone, but the epic showdown was interrupted by something far more worrisome. I’m not a huge fan of how this is turning out, but I think that fact that I have no idea what’s going on now is a good thing. Who is the new Robin going to be?? Find out next month. – Sherif

 

IDW Comics:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time #1 – B+

Here we go folks another TMNT micro –series! This time referencing many past incarnations of the turtles. Obviously the name takes us back to Super Nintendo days battling through time in the game with the name of this series. The time travel devise looks an awful lot like the one in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, and of course there are going to be tons more. This first issue doesn’t have the best art; well at least it doesn’t fit the series well since it looks an awful lot like the animated series running now on Nickelodeon. But since the artist is changing in each issue it is hard to complain. I look forward to seeing the whole story here (which is highly connected to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2014 coming out in December.) and the ever changing art, and if they are planning on referencing past properties in the process, this is a must read for long time fans. – Jacob

Samurai Jack #9 – B+

We have another issue where there is hardly any dialogue besides the odd robot language and one thing from Aku. I love that the style of the show can work so well in comic form because it definitely makes me love the show and the series that much more. I hope if this series ever ends we get the send off it deserved on television because so far it is one of my favorite monthly comics. – Jacob

  Image Comics:

Sex Criminals #6 – A-

It’s been three months since the last issue of the most pleasantly lewd book in the industry came out, but issue #6 is here, and I can plainly say that it was worth the wait. John and Suzie have escaped the sex police – to those of you just now hearing about the series, yes the Sex Police are real – but they are still left fearing orgasms will be their end. The once fiercely passionate couple are in quite a rut, and Chip Zdarsky’s art highlights the changes perfectly. There are even bigger plot points around the corner, though, as this instantly shot back up my list of favorites after the hiatus, which creatively did the book service. – Sherif

The Wicked + The Divine #1 – A-

Gods live among us. Not only that, but they perform at concerts and are so purely awesome they make us ejaculate in our pants so hard that we pass out from the impact. There’s a lot more to that, but if that first sentence didn’t at least grab your attention, you might not care for this book. Tired of being viewed at as phony entertainers out to exploit the entertainment crowd, one of the gods makes a brash decision, landing her in big trouble. Aside from the fact that gods can also flick their fingers and make people’s heads explode, I really didn’t walk away from the issue knowing anymore more than I did when I picked it up. I know that the story flows, and I know that the art is beautiful. Image Comics has a great track record, so I can’t wait to see where this goes. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Daredevil #4 – B

Matt Murdock’s stay in San Francisco hasn’t exactly been my favorite story, and Mark Waid having to follow up his own tremendous run on the series that just ended doesn’t make it any easier not to compare the two. This new frenemy that Daredevil has made is interesting enough to carry the story and interest me in reading more, but I’m already an invested Daredevil’er. I can’t see the current pace or story really grabbing any new fans. I could always be wrong, but I think Waid is going to have to kick things into high gear if he wants to recapture the magic he had in the last run. – Sherif

Elektra #3 – C+

What is with this guy chasing Elektra around trying to eat her brains? We get that Elektra is messed up in the head but I don’t see how they have managed to squeeze three issues outta this. I don’t see this story going anywhere exciting at all. The art is interesting but I would like something a little clearer as some of the pictures and coloring look a little confusing.  – Robert

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

“Respect My Craft” – Jim Cummings

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

dcc font

Name: Jim Cummings

Profession: TV Voice Actor

Notable WorkDarkwing Duck, Winnie The Pooh, CatDog

“I realize this is retrospect, but I’ll give everybody a leg up on this one. Do impressions of your relative’s and/ or anybody you just see on TV and if you do a bad impression it’s a new character.”- Jim Cummings

 

Did you grow up watching cartoons in the 90s? Then you most likely already know Jim Cummings and one of his voices is also likely to be one of your favorite cartoon characters. Jim Cummings is one of those voice actors who has been around since I have been born, creating some of the most iconic and well loved characters among the animated kingdom and helping other actors in times of need such as helping Jeremy Irons sing “Be Prepared” in The Lion King since Irons was having voice trouble at the time.

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Jim Cummings grew up in Ohio, but he moved to New Orleans when he got older and started off by designing and painting floats for Mardi Gras as well as worked as a deck hand and played drums and sang in the band, FUSION. He married his wife Stephanie and shortly after moved down to California where he continued to be an working stiff by running a video store, which now do not exist now that Blockbuster is gone sadly. He started his voice acting career in 1984 but didn’t get a credited role until 1985 starting off as Lionel the Lion in the TV show Dumbo’s Circus, and then just the next year, he went on to voice General in the Studio Ghibli classic, Castle in the Sky. His roles started to grow, as well, as did the amount of work, landing him roles in the The Transformers as multiple transformers including: Afterburner, Sharkticon, and Rippersnapper. He also voiced El Capitan in Ducktales. But most people will know him as the replacement for Hal Smith to voice Winnie the Pooh – a character he has voiced since 1988 – and Tigger, too, a role he took over from Paul Winchell as Tigger in 1990 (although Winchell would voice him a couple times later as well). Up until the time where his Winnie the Pooh fame came to be, he continued to voice multiple small roles and some more iconic ones including extra voices on The Little Mermaid and voicing Monterey Jack, Fat Cat and others in Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, solidifying his talent of playing mustached anthropomorphic animals.

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If Chip ‘n’ Dale was not your cup of tea, then hold on to your seats because Launchpad McQuack is flying this ship now, and blasting him to some of his even more iconic roles. His next roles in the early ‘90s including Don Karnage in TaleSpin, the title character in Bonkers, Pete in Goof Troop, Taz in Taz-Mania, Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog, and my personal two favorites: Mr. Bumpy in Bump in the Night and Shredder (in season 7 when James Avery could not), Genghis Frog and additional voices in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oh, and then, of course, there’s Darkwing Duck. This is arguably the point where his career blew up and the point where his voice was heard the most around the world.

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Jim continues to revolutionize the field of voice acting, and his list of credit is almost never ending with over 400 credits to his name and it just continues to grow more and more it seems each day. Once you go into the late ‘90s he still continues to bring some of the most memorable characters from the ‘90s as he plays multiple roles in: Gargoyles, The Tick, Mighty Ducks, Earthworm Jim, The Mask, Freakazoid, Animaniacs, and more. Not to mention major roles as Fuzzy Lumpkins in Powerpuff Girls, and Cat from CatDog, which both even further his credit of being one of the masters of making you enjoy life as we know it when you are a child. Now don’t think he was just an ‘80s and ‘90s guy because, to this day, he still voices Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and the bad guy Pete for almost all Disney projects, including the Kingdom Hearts video game series. He also has created a whole bunch of new characters for this new generation of kids including Ray the firefly from The Princess and the Frog, Hondo Ohnaka from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Karu from The Legend of Korra. Jim Cummings will definitely go down into the voice actor hall of fame with the likes of Mel Blanc and Peter Cullen, especially knowing that all he has achieved is just going to get better and even more great character from him are bound to show every year.

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Cummings is not just a legendary amazing voice actor he also is a great person to boot. He has worked with Make-a Wish Foundation in the past to call sick children who are under going treatment in hospitals, and he does it in the voice of their favorite character. Can you even imagine being sick as a kid and getting a call from Tigger to wish you well and tell you to get better soon. Heck, if that happened to me in 1995, I may have just beaten my Diabetes altogether. So to grow up and have Cummings’ characters be your heroes, and have them contact you is beyond any dream I could have imagined. Even a call from Shredder would boost my spirits up to a un human like degree. Beside his wonderful charity work, he enjoys having fun with fans at various Cons, making headlines when he read lines of Darth Vader’s from the Star Wars films as Winnie the Pooh during a panel at last year’s ConnectiCon. If that doesn’t impress you, it may just be my tummy rumbling for honey but I would find your lack of humor disturbing…

None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (Disney, Nickelodeon Network, Peter Hannan Productions). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with big-time nerd and Walking Dead‘s Merle, Michael Rooker.

Comic Book Reviews 05-21-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

classic spidey villain

Deadpool Annual #2 – A

Can we do this every month? Seriously, what can we do to make sure that Deadpool and Spider-Man team up ALL. THE. TIME? The hilarious banter between the two creates some of the best chemistry in comic books. The unlikely bromance is thoroughly entertaining and engaging. They are both badasses in their own right, but together it’s one giant lovefest, and neither are too proud to make fun of each other. I absolutely loved this book, and Deadpool as Spider-Man. It might not sell you on the Deadpool solo series, but this issue is well-worth the price of admission. – Sherif

Other Reviews:

DC/Vertigo:

Forever Evil #7 – A

What a clusterf*** of love! There is so much happening here, it could have easily been split up into two issues – but boy was I glad it wasn’t. The long delay led to a couple of spoilers surfacing before the issue came out, notably Dick’s survival and becoming a super-spy and Lex Luthor’s take-over of the Justice League. That annoyance aside, this was a thrilling ride from start to finish, and there were just as many new stories created as there were wrapped up. Not only did Johns make me cheer for the bad guys through this whole thing, but he made me forget that this was a spin-off from the Justice League book. It proved that DC has just as many awesome second-tier characters – many of which were villain – as there are headliners. Oh, and the buddy cop relationship between Sinestro and Black Adam? Magnificent. In an age of constant bombardment with “crossover events” and tie-ins, it’s nice to know that DC still knows how to make an amazing story. – Sherif

Justice League #30 – A-

The timing of Forever Evil really threw off a lot of congruous events, so this book won’t make a lot of sense without having read the finale to Forever Evil first. That being said, the premise of Luthor trying to join the JL is a very intriguing one. It’s an idea that’s been done before, but if there’s anybody that can make it interesting, it’s Geoff Johns. We get a good look at who will be bringing the Justice League their next fight – the Anti-Monitors! No rest for the weary, I suppose. Luthor is written with such charisma that you can’t really help but cheer for him to take a spot, especially after his development in Forever Evil. This issue gives me the firepower I needed to convince readers that Justice League is one of the best titles out, and deserves attention. – Sherif

Sinestro #2 – B

It would only make sense that the man writing Marvel’s most dangerous anti-hero (Magneto), would be doing the same for DC Comics. Cullen Bunn is unraveling quite the comeback tale for Sinestro as he fights to reclaim control of the Yellow Lanterns. There’s something refreshing about him, and while he has learned much from his ultimate show-down that capped Geoff Johns’ run, he is explicably ruthless here. Sinestro has so much potential, and it looks like this series will finally be doing the character justice. – Sherif

Batman and Frankenstein #31 – C

It’s been a long journey for Batman as he searches for closure with Damian’s death. We’re one step closer to the first real showdown between Bruce Wayne and Ra’s Al Ghul in the New52, and I’m genuinely excited. The partnership with Frankenstein feels a bit inorganic, but the development of Batman from his last encounter with Frankie in Batman and Red Robin #19 is awesome to see. Plus, there are a few panels that penciller Patrick Gleason just goes nuts on. Overall, I love this über-story and with the approach of a new Robin, there’s no reason to believe it won’t get even better. – Sherif

Batman Eternal #7 – C+

Pyg is quite possibly one of the worst comic book villains I have ever seen. The pig goes oink? Who the hell thinks of this stuff?  Even as side-villains go, Batman has many more interesting characters that they could have used to distract him. All this and in the very same issue we get to see exactly what the documentary Blackfish was talking about. I will never have to wonder what would have happened if Willy had gone crazy and started killing humans after being freed. All of those complaints aside, shit is getting pretty crazy in Gotham City and it feels like we are just getting warmed up. It feels like we are still in the buildup stage of whatever master plot is going down, and although I would have expected just a little more clarity as to what is about to happen, it seems every time we get a little explanation, the plot thickens and we know even less than before. For a weekly book, this continues to be great every week and I cant wait to see what they truly have in store for this arc. – Robert

Weekly series are bound to run out of steam eventually, and Eternal unfortunately is not an exception. It could be the lack of focus on a particular set of characters, or it could be the vague scope of storyline – I can’t really put my finger on it. All I know is that I’m kind of losing interest in where Eternal is going. That’s not a fault of writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV; there’s just so much information packed into these book, which is weird because the problem with weekly books is usually the opposite. It’s not bad, though, because this issue sees the downfall of Penguin’s empire, an event that shakes up the Batverse quite a bit. I still love Eternal for what it is, but its momentum is nearly gone. – Sherif

Supergirl #31 – D

I can honestly say that I am getting real tired of DC’s shit. Why do they feel it is necessary to always make us read another publication in order to get the whole Supergirl story. For the first thirty issues, it was Superboy and Superman that you had to read, and this was to actually finish one of her main story arcs. Now we have to read the Red Lanterns in order to know what the hell is going on in her current issue. This may come as a shock to the people of DC, but I don’t want to read Red Lanterns and this cheap trick to try and force me to read it isn’t going to work; in fact, if they keep things like this up I wont be reading Supergirl any longer, either. I know that other books do this too but nothing has been so blatantly ridiculous as to finish one of her main story arcs in someone elses book and then move on in the next issue like its no big deal. And what is worse is that they have changed the book you had to follow in tandem to something else entirely. – Robert

 

Dynamite Entertainment:

Solar: Man of the Atom #2 – A-

This comic continues to impress me, with Erica now awake and completely confused as to what just happened to her, the pieces are weird, yet they are starting to fit. But where is her dad? Where did the Man of the Atom go? WHY DOESN’T THE MATH WORK? However, after all the strange flashbacks and repressed memories that are crawling up from her brain and into reality, a lot of our old questions get solved, yet leave us with new ones. So far I am loving this series and I look forward to more issues. – Evan

 

IDW Comics:

TMNT 30th Anniversary Special – A

Now this is awesome! This issue celebrating the amazing 30 years of TMNT collects artists and writer from past incarnations to return and team together for one more story in their comic universe. We, of course, celebrate the initial Mirage years then move on to Archie, Image, Going back to Mirage and then finally ending up for their now parent company IDW. This issue is great because although we don’t get any real great or long stories we do get to see how the Turtles have evolved, faded, rose back and ended up creating one of the most iconic pop culture phenomenon’s of culture from the ‘80s to now. This is definitely a must have issue for any Turtles fans who want to know more about their history and explore almost all the different incarnations of the turtles we have seen. – Jacob

Dexter’s Laboratory #2- C+

This Dexter’s Laboratory series is going to be short lived and may just be to introduce to giant crossover, Super Secret Crisis War! Which will include Cartoon Network characters including Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, Ed, Edd and Eddy and more. This issue offers some great art as Genndy Tartakovsky’s has always been one of my favorite artists and although he may not be doing the art for this series his creations in general are great. The story for this series so far though has been a little predictable at times but even so it reminds me of the classic series that way as it has a childlike feeling of wonder to it which can not be done with complex plots and stories that require too much thinking. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Saga #19 – B+

It’s been nearly four months since the last issue of Saga came out, and it doesn’t miss a beat. We jump right back into things a few months later… I don’t want to spoil any of the story, but there’s just this overwhelming sense of familiarity to the book – even though things are changing. I missed Saga a lot, and there’s a lot to look forward to. – Sherif

 

Marvel:

Uncanny X-Men #21 – B

This might be one of the shortest issues of the week, but it still manages to bring the heat. Somebody has control of Magik and Cyclops, but if it’s not S.H.I.E.L.D., who is it? Dazzler has been drained of her powers by Mystique to create some weird HGH for mutants while Mystique has been impersonating her. How nobody seems to notice that it’s not Dazzler, I do not know, but that’s not even the biggest problem they face. The use of colors in Uncanny has always been impressive, but the large-scale art sequences here are just gorgeous. This is a book you should definitely be reading. – Sherif

Elektra #2 – B-

(+) Beautiful! This comic is more beautiful than a rainbow after a sunny day, or a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Without a doubt this comic is stunning visually with its illustrative style and panel flow. Also the dialog and story have me intrigued as well. With Elektra on a mission that suddenly just saw a twist, I’m excited to see what we will get from this comic. Especially with the abilities of our protagonist, things are really getting exciting and I can’t wait for the next issue to come out. – Evan

(-) Two issues in and a I realize that I really don’t like the art style presented in this book at all. I also for some reason can’t stop picturing Jennifer Garner when I look at the panels of Elektra’s face. I kind of expected there to be a supernatural element to her story but I didn’t realize how much that was going to bleed into the story so early. I feel like her character is a little one-dimensional and I hope that they can resolve that in the coming issues because she is not Michonne. The brooding badass female killer doesn’t really work for long as a lead character. I don’t think she needs to change into a friendly character or anything, but she does need to develop a personality. – Robert

Amazing Spider-Man #2 – B

Peter Parker’s homecoming party continues as we follow the web-slinger as he picks up the mess Otto left in his wake. Anna Maria busted him last issue when she found out a pretty big secret, the Avengers bring Spider-Man in for questioning, and a showdown with Electro happens, as well. All the events capture the whimsical attitude of Peter Parker, and there were several moments that made me laugh out loud. Most surprisingly was Anna Maria’s acceptance of the secret, and what she decides to do afterwards; it’s almost TOO accepting… dun dun dun! Whatever the case, Amazing does a good job and bringing the Spidey we know and love back to the forefront, while still exploring the events of Superior so new fans aren’t lost. – Sherif

Magneto #4 – B

Magneto is such a badass character but what is most interesting about these issues is we get to see a deeper side as opposed to the just the killer out for revenge. It is a nice contrast to see his wall of lost mutants. It reminds me very much of the Holocaust Memorial with the way he had names listed. I can’t help but feel that even though he is pretty awesome right now, there needs to be a better overall story presented because watching him go around terrorizing people will only be interesting for so long. I would like to see him team up with some people, perhaps a non-mutant. – Robert

At this point, there’s nothing more to say about Magneto other than that it is a clear look into how dangerous he has become, and how brutal he has become in light of the genocide on his people. Watching him go from facility to facility and slaughter everybody is really entertaining, but there comes a point when I need more substance to enjoy the book. It’s like a video game where every level looks different but plays the exact same way. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a winning formula, but writer Cullen Bunn will need to switch things up if he wants to take Magneto to a level of greatness. – Sherif

Hulk #3 – B-

It’s always nice to see the Hulk battles but what happened to him being one of the most powerful beings in the universe when he gets angry? He seemed to get beaten up pretty easily which is never fun to watch. I get that they can’t make every fight a walk in the park but it seems weird to seem him get pulverized so easily. I also am glad that it looks like they got rid of the whole retard Banner persona, that got old after one issue. For that alone this book gets a higher score than the last issue. We are still in the dark about what exactly happened to Banner but it is just a matter of time before everything is revealed so now we wait. I am excited for the next issue because of the last panel of this issue. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the combination of these two indestructible things should be pretty sweet to see in action. – Robert

Original Sin #2 – C

(+) Marvel knows exactly how to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love how this story is progressing with the search for who took the Watcher’s eyes and the lengths the heroes are going through to figure out this mystery. From Dr. Strange with the Punisher and their flying crocodile birds, to Emma Frost, Black Panther, and Ant Man searching inside ginormous dead beasts, no punches are being pulled to discover the truth. In this issue, the action was nothing short of amazing, its overall awesomeness made me geek super hard, and I simply want more. Great comic, great issue, keep them coming. – Evan

(+/-) Who shot the watcher? Well do we find out this issue or we just raised more questions and confused at twhom and why they brought in some characters and where is this story going. I can see this series becoming interesting but definitely not the legendary type of story arc like Civil War or Infinity Gauntlet in which Marvel is so well known for. The art for this series so far is spectacular and although things have been going really fast and getting into things quickly which worries me about how they will get it all done without rushing the last couple issues of the 8 they have. – Jacob

(-) Wow… I can’t say I’ve been more disappointed in a huge arc than I have been in Original Sin. We go from arguing about steak experiences in issue #1 to eyeball bombs full of secrets in this one. I mean, just the last few panels alone were enough to make me roll my eyes at all the malarky this has become. I get it, everybody has deep, dark secrets. Can’t we just get to that part instead of this plot; Orb, really? This would have been corny in the 50’s, so it definitely doesn’t work now. Mike Deodato (pencils) and Frank Martin (colors) produce a magnificent book, visually, but the upcoming change in canon will be the only thing keeping me reading Original Sin. – Sherif

Amazing X-Men #7 – F

When Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness BAMFed their way out of this series, they took not only Nightcrawler with them, but the entire heart of the series. This issue was a straight-up joke, which is sad because Spider-Man’s re-return, with some snarky Iceman jokes should carry enough momentum to get through the issue. Instead, the two annoyingly bark back and forth at each other while Firestar nags them to death. The level of crap this series has turned into in one issue is the only Amazing thing about this issue. – Sherif

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Alex Ruffin “Overdosed on Reality”

Song: “Overdosed on Reality”

Artist: Alex Ruffin

Album: U.B.E.R (Usually Better Every Rhyme) (mixtape 2012)

Lyric: “Got the Juice like Q and Bish/Showed my ass before rap I’ve never been a nudist/Thriving harder than the mutants/in the sewer, they like Koopa/I’m TMNT they never touched the goo”

Character Reference/Meaning:

Coming to “DTC” this week may be a lesser known artist, but I guarantee you he is OVER 9,000 on the nerdy scale for rappers. On Alex Ruffin’s 2012 mixtape, he released several songs that show off his inner nerd. Not counting this week’s feature, he mentions The Matrix, Doctor Doom, Luke Cage, and several others. However, his nerdiest song may in fact be “Overdosed on Reality.” It truly was hard to pick just a single lyric from this week’s song. For honorable mention, and to flex his nerdiness I feel some of the other lyrics must be shared. “While they acting my thumb is playing Galactus/Just writing up something mean while the other four are fantastic.” NERDY. “It’ll knock you right off your feet like I whooped you in Mortal Kombat/ I set myself up to win if they ballin all of em Bobcats.” NERDY. “I put in hard work while they paying for pipe dreams/I’m fighting for what is right if you robbin’ I’m Nightwing.” NERDY.

So it’s clear to see that without a doubt, Alex Ruffin is a nerd. Perhaps his nerdiest hard hitting lyric speaks about the heroes in a half-shell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Basically what Alex Ruffin is saying in this lyric is that even though he is realtively unknown, most rappers these days can’t even compete with him. Similar to the Turtles, Ruffin is underground doing his rap thing and all of those artist that are mainstream just can’t keep up. Just for a second imagine Koopa, the lovable little turtle from Super Mario or any other Mario video game. Yes he is cool, playful, and cheery. Now take another second and imagine Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael from the notorious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. They are badass, fearless, and just overall awesome. Now take half a second and imaging Koopa fighting the TMNT. It didn’t take very long to come up with a winner, and I won’t even ask you to come up with any fraction of a second to figure out who you would rather be, the answer is just too obvious. That is what Alex Ruffin is trying to stab through your head. Much of this song speaks about the work he has been putting into his craft and the passion he has for his art. He is trying to become great and the only way to do that is through hard work. So while everyone else out there is comfortable being a pet store turtle or Koopa, Ruffin is searching for that mutagen ooze (if he hasn’t found it already) to take him to the next level.

You know who else is looking for some goo/ooze? Michael Bay. Coming out in August 2014, Michael Bay will be bringing us the much anticipated live action TMNT movie. Starring Megan Fox as TV reporter April O’Neil – which the jury is still out on, Alan Ritchson (Raphael), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), Jeremy Howard (Donatello), and Pete Ploszek (Leonardo) we are all hoping we will have a masterpiece on our hands. Unfortunately, this movie looks to depart from both the comic book and movie origin. Whether they are aliens from a distant planet or test-tube subjects, the warrior spirit of the turtles will remain intact. With the recent trailer that just was released, there is a lot to be hopeful for in regards to this soon to be movie. I don’t know about you but I sure am looking forward to it. I can almost guarantee you that Alex Ruffin is just as excited as anyone else. So on a closing note, GO NINJA GO NINJA GO!

Weekend Wrap-Up…March 23, 2014

March Madness is in full effect right now! The Quicken Loans $1B challenge for the perfect got eliminated before the first round was even over. How busted are your brackets?

So, The Boondocks are coming back for Season 4 – starting on April 21st. There’s a catch though – the show will be without creator Aaron McGruder. This will be the final season, and likely the last time we’ll get to see Huey, Riley and Grand-dad in this medium. McGruder seems to have been supportive of the new season via social media, but will the magic be lost without him? We think not.

This is no penny stock scam; The Wolf of Wall Street is being released on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday, March 25th. If you’re still having doubts, check out our review here.

Far Cry 4 sits at number three on my most wanted video-game list (right after Arkham Knight and Watch Dogs). More announcements have been made; the game will take place in the Himalayan Mountains, complete with rideable elephants and Yeti hunting! It will be released next year.

Set your DVRs to record, people! Bryan Cranston AKA Walter White AKA “Heisenberg. You’re god-damn right” is going to be on The Colbert Report on Monday night.

Community‘s Alison Brie will be producing a TV Land show Teachers, based off the web-series of the same name. Watch a couple of them and you will be sold, especially if you’ve worked in the education industry.

The man, the legend, Chris Claremont will return to X-Men writing duties with Nightcrawler #1. The book debuts April 9th.

Turtles in Time is back, this time, as a mini-series by IDW Comics. A common Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme has been sending them back in a certain time period to tackle new problems. The mini-series will be drawn by Ross Campbell, who drew the recent Northampton arc. So excited!

Keep an eye out for our The Walking Dead “Us” review later tonight. We’re all one step closer to Terminus.

Comic Book Reviews 03-19-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

Daredevil #1 – A-

Mark Waid is back! Well, he never really left… This may be a #1, but this plays out more like a Season Two than a reboot. We’re introduced to Matt Murdok all over again. He is residing in the sunny state of California after losing his legal license in New York when he revealed his secret identity to the whole wide world. The debut issue moves at breakneck speed, with great action and even better intelligent deduction. We even get to end on a crazy cliff-hanger… that won’t make sense if you haven’t read the first volume, sorry. Anyway, I’m stoked that Daredevil is in sunny Cali again! – S

Other Reviews:

Dark Horse Comics:

Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy #2 – B+

This issue came together quite nicely, as we were given a hint at what might be causing the Terminator attack – and loads of great action. I couldn’t help but feel that this would make an excellent film or animated movie. The only real complaint that I have is our resident badass Sarah Connor wannabe is throwing the Terminator around like a rag doll and I was under the impression that they weighed a ton. Not even the great Steven Seagal could handle one of these things with such elegant grace. The question of whether or not this is an alternate timeline remains to be seen but between this and the conclusion to the Terminator Salvation storyline, I have been spoiled with Terminator goodness as of late.  – R

Witcher #1 – B+

Witcher pleasantly surprised me this week.  This issue was filled with creepy and strange ghouls and monsters that gave me Goosebumps.  The real shining aspect was the nonchalant progression of the story and character interactions.  The Witcher and the Hunter have great back and forth dialogue and their backstories are just as interesting as their forward journeys.  If you like men that wield swords and fight vampires, then Witcher is the series for you! – T

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #1 – B

A new season of everyone’s favorite, the most dangerous and of course, the prettiest vampire hunter around! Dark Horse has been pulling out the punches to give us what we all want, more seasons to Joss Whedon shows! This issue is jam-packed with action from start to finish and joins together all our favorite Buffy characters again even ones we may have thought we would never see again. Magic is back on earth and a huge Zompire population has taken up residence in Santa Rosita. The gang must join forces again even with some characters and people we may not have thought would help them. To me, this issue was quite refreshing – to see these characters again and for them to make reference to what did happen in the past two comic seasons I had missed. The artwork is spectacular and you are sure to be able to recognize characters as they mostly all look exactly like the actors who portrayed them. – J

DC/Vertigo:

Scribblenauts #3 – A

I may be biased, but Scribblenauts is the best children’s comic out right now.  Not only is it for children, but for adults.  Or perhaps for 26 year old women who have been in a long term relationship with DC.  But darn, its just so cute!  This month, Maxwell and Lily meet with the entire Justice League and recount the times they have helped out each hero in the League.  Maxwell finds himself helping the Green Lantern Corps while Lily helps Mr. Batman figure out what force has been causing all the chaos witnessed in the previous two issues.  In their hunt for the ultimate baddie, which seems to be aiming for a Scribblenauts version of Crisis on Infinite Earths.  In this issue, I found myself saying “awww” a lot and also laughing hysterically.  There was an amazing panel showing Maxwell’s obsession with Batman by having Batman listen to all the voicemails Maxwell has left for him.  Scribblenauts does a fantastic job of taking all these out-of-the-world characters and by use of two children, bringing the greatest heroes down to the level of the reader.  It’s really refreshing to take the ride with heroes to feel compassion for.  -A

Wonder Woman #29 – A-

For Glory, WAR! That is just what you’re gonna be seeing if you keep reading Wonder Woman. Zeus’ First Born is one nasty sucker, and now that he has taken over Mt. Olympus (see the fiery conclusion to Wonder Woman #28), he’s even scarier – and when the unlikeliest of saviors come to everybody’s rescue, it sets the book up for the endearing “Rocky montage” that ends in Wonder Woman finally assuming the mantle of God of War. This is one of the most badass books on the market; if you’re not reading this Brian Azzarello gem, you are missing out. – S

American Vampire: Second Cycle #1 – B+

After a hiatus from the American Vampire series, Scott Synder and Raphael Albuquerque are back at it. It’s so great to see Synder’s work truly uncensored. As amazing as Batman and Superman: Unbound are, American Vampire is his bread and butter. I’m a little lost on what’s going on, but when you have such a big train, it takes a few issues to really get the momentum going, I suppose. I’m utterly in love with the art here, as Albuquerque does a bang-up job. I’m sold on the series going forward, and I assure that with it will come more quality. – S

Batman and Aquaman #29 – B+

Now we’re getting somewhere! Since Robin died, Batman & Robin has been floating around with different partners, from Catwoman to Two-Face, and now Aquaman. The surprising thing is that this has been the most fruitful issue in almost a year. Together, Batman and Aquaman are one step closer to catching up with Ra’s Al Ghul, who is seeking revenge for the death of his daughter and grandson. He is not only the Demon’s Head, hellbent on destroying the world, but you can also add whaling to his list. There’s some really gross stuff in here that I won’t spoil, but I love that Tomasi is stepping his game up! Can’t wait for Batman and Wonder Woman next month. – S

Supergirl #29 – B

After going back and reading a few of the older issues, it seems like Kara’s transformation into a Red Lantern was all but planned from the beginning. When you think about it, she is really the perfect character to control a rage ring. Her experience here on Earth has been very different from Clark’s and she came at a very different time in her life than he did. Those feelings all coming to a head may lead to an interesting revenge plot for one of the last Kryptonians. It could also lead to crap……. So be prepared for that possibility, too. As a small side note, I really don’t like Silver Banshee at all. What the hell kind of power is being able to speak any language and why are they trying to make her something more than she was to begin with? I hope that she fades into oblivion in the next few issues as she is a terrible character, almost as bad as Arsenal. – R

Superman: Unbound #6 – B

I would think that Scott Synder and Jim Lee doing a Superman book together would sell me on the Man of Steel forever; that hasn’t quite been the case here. We’ve seen some of the most beautiful pencil-work since The New 52 Justice League (Jim Lee drew that, too, surprise!), but nothing really has drawn out the awe I expected from such a dynamic duo. Unfairly high expectations aside, I’m thoroughly entertained by this book, and get warm fuzzies every time I see Jim Lee’s Batman appear in a panel. The honeymoon is over between Superman and Wraith, and this issue turns two formidable allies into enemies. It might seem like a quick transition from the start of the issue, but bad blood has been brewing for the entire series. Aside from Lee’s handiwork, the series remains good, but never quite grasping the great it should be. – S

Harley Quinn #4 – B-

Still a little silly, but getting back on the right track for an up and coming comic book, this week’s Harley Quinn was a nice step up from last month’s issue.  Harley finds herself trying to balance her many careers like many girls who just moved to the big city, or in her case, Coney Island.  After much make-up and some hilarious banter with her, um, beaver, Harley becomes Dr. Harleen Quinzel at her new job at a nursing home.  Everyone’s favorite clown gets her heartstrings pulled by an old lady who feels abandoned be her loved ones.  Harley empathizes because of her history with Mr. J. and decides to take maters into her own hands, but the good old Harley way.  In her journey to right the family’s wrongs, she finds out that she needs to check her facts before flying off the handle.  Is this lesson learned for her?  It may be too early to tell because Harley gets a special new patient at the end.  You’ll have to pick up this issue to find out who!  Harley may not be the smartest girl in comics, and her crazy thoughts are immediately acted upon (ahem, like kidnap or murder), but she is a girl with passion, has some realm of a moral compass, and is proactive.  That is a girl I can get behind. -A

IDW Comics:

Samurai Jack #6 – B-

This issue of Samurai Jack brings back a fan favorite character, The Scotsman, but something is a bit off about him, or should I say her… In a St. Patrick’s Day themed issue, we see that the Scotsman had a curse put on him and changed him into a woman. This issue gets a B- because although it was great to see the Scotsman again – as well as Jack and her team up, the holiday aspect which will carry on into the next issue will be lost as the curse was brought on by Leprechaun’s. I am not sure how a St. Patrick’s day theme will carry on for much longer unless this was a series with multiple issues a month. This story will definitely continue as it was left on a cliffhanger where we see both the Scotsman and Jack will need to figure out a way to defeat the Leprechaun’s curse. – J

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire C+

The conclusion of the TMNT mini series, Utrom Empire, is packed with action and clues to what comes next for the Turtles and their sworn enemies, Shredder (Oroku Saki) and Krang. It started with the Utrominons engineering Mutant dinosaurs for their army but the entire race they created teamed up with others to take down the Utrominon’s that had enslaved and tortured them. This last issue shows the ending of the rebellion, sending Krang and what remains of his race to Earth while also showing us more of Baxter Stockman, his half robot half fly, (hinting at the mutant fly character he turns into normally) as well as Fugitoid and how he plans to take down both Krang and Baxter Stockman. The ending of the issue gives us a great idea of what is going to happen now that the turtles have left Northampton to return to New York starting a new story arc, which looks like it will be rather exciting. – J

Image Comics:

Sex Criminals #5 – C+

I don’t want to say that Sex Criminals has lost it’s appeal, but five issues in, I’m starting to waver a little bit. The outlandish hilarity of it all is still there, but the story is moving in some weird direction that almost makes it seem like it’s improv’ed. The Sex Police and Kegalface intrigue me enough to stay in it to win it, but my lust for Sex Criminals isn’t quite as strong as it was in the first issue. Curious readers shouldn’t be discouraged though, as Matt Fraction (who also writes Hawkeye) is an exceptional story-teller and has not put out an issue that I haven’t heartily laughed at the whole way through. – S

Sovereign #1 – C

To be honest, I was pretty confused about this comic. I get that this comic isn’t really a storyline or a solitary piece of work. Rather, it is a bunch of little stories separated out. Or at least that’s what I think it was. By taking little quotes and making stories out of them is a really cool concept, but I feel that the execution could have used some work. Overall, I feel that this comic is nothing to serious or attention grabbing but in a sense it can be fairly interesting.  – E

Undertow #2 – D

Remember in elementary school how every Tuesday was Taco day?  Remember how awesome and comfortable you felt strolling to the cafeteria at noon to partake in what may arguably be better than recess?  And remember how on one faithful Tuesday you arrive on the serving line only to have yesterday’s meatloaf slop onto your tray?…  Yeah, that’s pretty much Undertow.  All the potential in this series is squandered by incredibly hard to decipher art work, confusing character development, an overly complicated plot and a strong lack of direction.  It’s sad that an awesome concept is so poorly portrayed. – T

Marvel:

Ms. Marvel #2 – B

Now that we’ve gotten a taste of who Kamala Khan is, we get to explore her transformation a little further. It’s quite a drop in pace from the debut, with just a tease of her powers. There’s a clear nob to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel, which reinforces the Girl Power approach to comics thats far too under-represented in the industry. Once again, G Willow Wilson‘s take on the American Islamic culture is spot on; I can remember having the same type of conversations with my dad, sans super-powers. This issue could be looked at as filler by some, but I think it’s necessary pacing for the long term payoff, just going by Wilson’s previous work. – S

Marvel Knights: Hulk #4 – B

I really enjoyed this issue simply for the action, and bringing out a badass in the hulk. Overall as a story it was pretty average but I did enjoy the simple entertainment value of it. For Hulk lovers like myself, you will enjoy this issue quite a bit. Seeing that this was the last issue, I don’t really feel one way or another about the series, but I am glad I read it. – E

Uncanny X-Men #19 – B

The rag-tag group of mutants that Cyclops has cultivated are forming into a real team. They’re right in the thick of things, as S.H.I.E.L.D. (or somebody who is framing them) has been trapping them in face-offs with Sentinels. The first half of the book drags along very slowly, where Maria Hill interrogates an exiled member of the group. I’m sure it would be much more entertaining on film, but this medium is just not suited for three-page long monologues. The issue does redeem itself later with new tricks by Magik. This is one of Marvel’s most under-rated books, and right now is a great jumping on point. – S

Avengers World #4 – B

This issue was a lot of fun to read. With a great combination of action, mystery, fantastic art, and story progression, I am excited to see where this series is going. I think this book is fairly creative and attention grasping when it comes to the storyline. I appreciate that even though there wasn’t a whole lot of action in terms of fight scenes and explosions, it still held my attention the whole way through. I enjoyed this read and am excited about the next issue. – E

Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #2 – B-

The Winter Soldier reboot has taken us back to the roots of a time where the Winter Soldier is just a myth. This book so far feels a lot like an older James Bond movie in both tone and pacing. The art is great and has a very retro feel; however, I would like it to be slightly crisper in future issues. The story is really just getting started but it is interesting to see that perhaps the Soviets don’t have such a tight grip on the Winter Soldier after all. Only time will tell, but so far this reboot has been pretty decent. – R

Wolverine & The X-Men #2 – B-

The Phoenix Corporation has hit the scene.  With its surprising and invocative arrival, Quentin and the other X-Men become a little restless.  My feelings are mixed as I read.  The action is great and it’s got an “epic” vibe about it.  I will warn that readers who aren’t familiar with the backstory to this series (like me) will be somewhat confused.  Still worth the read just to see Wolverine and Storm in action! – T

Dexter Down Under #2 – B-

We are still in the buildup stage of the story, but with only five issues total for this series, I am not exactly sure how things are going to proceed if they continue at this slow pace. This issue marks the first time that Dexter has voiced his intentions while being in Australia, and they don’t sound like this trip will end with someone on his table. That would make for an interesting turn of events, actually. He doesn’t actually kill anyone and helps the police legitimately capture a murderous killer. Perhaps at the end he could reflect on how he doesn’t need to kill anyone to be useful to society or that he should try to use his knowledge of the dark passenger to help his own police force more. Most likely the chick he is working with will find out and Dexter will kill whoever is responsible. Predictable of course, but people already know what Dexter is about and we still keep coming back for more. – R

All-New Invaders #3 – C+

Overall this issue wasn’t all that exciting or entertaining. Toward the end, it did get pretty interesting with some nice twists, but by that time I was semi-bored. However, due to the last few pages I did find interest in knowing what will happen in the next issue. I truly enjoy the dialog and art of this book, and I hope to see it continue on into the next part. I hope the next issue brings more excitement, but I wouldn’t say this issue was a bad read at all. – E

Seekers of the Weird #3 – C-

While the idea of Seekers of the Weird is really intriguing, the story thus far is falling flat.  If you have yet to read it or one of our previous reviews, Seekers is based off an attraction that never came to fruition at Disneyland.  Since Marvel had merged with Disney, the attraction is coming to life, but in comic book form.  Unfortunately, the attraction would have been better.  The attraction was meant to be a museum of odd items.  The story of the book is about that, too, but so far the three characters are not relatable.  The two main characters, Max and Melody, are more freaked out than proactive.  By the third issue, their characters should be developing, and their Uncle Roland shouldn’t be such an ass.  I don’t think it’s a good thing that I am more trusting of the ghosts in the museum than Uncle Roland.  The appeal of the book should be the artifacts, which would have been the point of the attraction.  However, many items have been lost in the shuffle because the book is so fast-paced it becomes confusing.  I really hope the next two issues resolve the story arc of Max and Melody’s missing parents and their Uncle reveals his true nature, or else Seekers risks losing its readers. -A

Superior Spider-Man Annual #2 – D+

I can’t wait for this series to end. Usually, an Annual issue is a good way to tell a great side-story that doesn’t have anything to do with the arc that’s currently happening – a way to reflect on the past year’s progression or springboard the next story arc. In this issue’s case, we focus on a story that was really not good enough to see the pages of the of Superior otherwise. I like Carlie and I like the Hobgoblin angle, but this could have been summarized in just a few panels. – S

 

GPA by Publisher:

DC Comics: 1 A  and 4 B’s, averaging out to a 3.20

Marvel Comics: 1 A, 7 B’s, 1 C and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.80

Independents: 4 B’s, 3 C’s and 1 D, averaging out to a 2.38

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, Evan Lowe, Adrian Puryear, Taylor Lowe, Robert Michael and Jacob Robinson